To Think or Not To Think by Valerie Brown Cheers

One day during class at college, Ms. Virginia stood up to her teacher in her Algebra class…..and told her Professor, “Sometimes change may not be needed especially when it comes to math and if there is new math, and I don’t know what that means……..but still we should be able to do and learn many ways of solving and there are many ways of thinking….. which helps us to be better when we go out into the real world.”

“Yes….I do understand that schools are trying to make us believe they are trying to help our kids to think for themselves…but from my taking classes” Ms Virginia stated……”I am understanding it as their way or no way and this is not fair to our kids nor to some confused teachers who believe this to be right.””

Ms. Virginia went on to say, “But…you teachers today are not even giving the poor kids a chance and even before they start using their way of getting to the solution….. you are marking their problems wrong….not even allowing them to show you how they think and came up with their answers ….which are the same answer you are getting and having your computers to do for them.”

“What Ms. Virginia meant was that there are all types of ways of doing one problem to get the same solution…and it is good to work in groups when doing math and learn to be diverse….. and learn many different ways of thinking and allows our kids to think using their processes and sharing with other kids learning their processes and helping one another to think too, yet learning other ways which makes them more diverse and able to help others.”

Ms. Virginia said, “When I was in school in the early 1900’s we worked in groups and many students did the problem differently than many students and still got the same solution and this is how they were taught to allow children to think and do their own work at the blackboard and share with the class.”

Ms. Virginia did not understand why teachers today think that students are wrong when they get the same answer but solve and do the solution entirely different than them.

“Some of the teachers today….need to go back to school and learn how to be diverse….Ms. Virginia thought to herself.”

Ms. Virginia went on to tell the Professor, “Math is a subject all in its very own class and it is the only subject where you can do this problem using many different solutions, yet you come up with the same answer, but the way this so called new math or the way math is being taught to our new teachers….is absurd and even confuses parents who were taught using good ole fashion methods and coming up with the same answer!”

“So parents cannot help their kids for if they do and the kid takes their paper or homework to be checked the dumb teacher says it is wrong because they solved it differently than she was taught.”

“Ms. Virginia thought….how in the hell can you teach our kids when you are only taught one way and that way is asinine and absurd and nobody but you…..the book that taught you that nonsense and your absurd teaching school methods authority.”

“You see some of the teachers today in 2015 are only taught one way…. and if the students don’t show how they got their answers their way, they then say the students are cheating even though the students got the right answer.”

“So the dumb teachers or computers mark the problem wrong, and what is worse if doing on the computer….the computer won’t even let you get any further in solving the problem…if you don’t solve their way……. and so they mark the problem as wrong.”

“The professor went so far as tell the students to try working the problems on the computer……and guess what a lot of our students are being taught math on the computer and this is probably why the kids and teachers are both confused?”

“It was even worse…..…for the computer would not allow you to get to the answer if you did not know their way of solving and their way was only one way….like some of the teachers today are being taught.”

Ms. Virginia thought…..there are just some things you don’t do on the computer and when she I in was in school………..she said “We used the calculator only to check our problems and if we got caught using a calculator……then that was cheating and our parents and teachers wanted us to learn how to think on our own.”

Ms. Virginia said “Too many Kids today freak out when the computer goes out or down….. They cannot do anything without it…….. Many students and teachers……..do not know how to use their minds as backup plans and use the old pencil, paper and brain power.”

You see it was a blessing that Ms. Virginia was taking those classes and she did not take to get a better job…….but she was an Angel and there for God’s reasons to help save our kids from catastrophe of failing or thinking something was wrong with themselves.

“In reality, they don’t know jack shit and were only taught one way in their Teaching Schools and should have taken upon themselves, being teachers who have students who are all different, teaching themselves all of the old ways of solving problems.”

Ms. Virginia went on to say to the students and the Professor, “Math is like life and you have to learn more than one way to appreciate it and then check it by doing other ways coming up with the right and same solution.” Ms. Virginia also said to the students and the Professor, “Some teachers today think if the students don’t anything the way they were taught….they are wrong and this is not fair!”

You see Ms. Virginia was in her eighties and was placed in those classes by God to try and help the students who were complaining about the math teachers telling them that their work was being done wrong….even though the students were coming up with the solution…..their way of solving steps was totally different than the Professor had been taught in school.”

Actually….the way the students were doing their homework assignments was the ole fashion way we were taught in the 1950’s. In Ms. Virginia’s case is was way early on the 1900’s of doing math, but the kids were doing their solutions the same way Ms. Virginia was being taught when she was in school….. A very long time ago!

Ms. Virginia wrote a letter to the School Board explaining how she was being placed as a lifetime student into classes to help some of the struggling students who were getting the correct solutions but were being told they were solving the problems wrong….even though they were coming up with the same answer as their teacher, she was marking it wrong because of the way they came to get the answer.

So students began expressing outside of their classes amongst one another how they had to do something because their homework and tests assignments were being marked incorrectly due to the students solving the problem differently than the teachers or the computer wanted them do it…. which before they even got to the answer was not understood even by the supposed to be smart computer…..which is not so smart after all and depends on what we put into it which makes it not so smart.

“This way really confused many students and also Ms. Virginia and this is when the…brave enough to say something Ms. Virginia would go to work on their behalf and actually goes and speaks to the School Board.”

Moral to this story: With math, there is no such thing as a new way…..instead a more complicated way by society’s absurd ways of teaching!

“No matter how you solve the problem in math what makes the problem correct is the answer and not the solution. Math is one subject where it can be done many different ways depending on student’s brain of thinking and solving for solutions to problems.”

“Maybe that is what is wrong with the world today…….we get complacent to doing things only way or this is the only way I know how to do it mentality!”

“This is where teamwork comes into play and it is so good for our kids to study in groups and get to learn many different ways of coming up with same answer or solution to problems by thinking.”

“What society needs to learn is that many different ways of doing things is important and in the workplace, we figure out as teams which will best save money, create less stress in the workplace and less kids dropping out of our schools mainly graduating from college.”

“We need to encourage our students…….. not discourage them and allow different ways of thinking back into our school systems.”

“Too many students are dropping out of school because of the American way of teaching math and not allowing many to graduate from college and there are way too many failing themselves due to the school system failing our kids.”

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